Arts funding imbalance: more must be done report finds
"The government has been urged to address this imbalance since the 1980s, with relatively little effect. The Rebalancing our Cultural Capital report from 2013 was the most recent attempt to highlight the inequity, but this has been going on since the Arts Council's Glory of the Garden Report in 1984.
"There have been some attempts to decentralise the creative industries such as relocating the BBC to Salford. But very few comparable initiatives in the arts. 'Touring' is not really a substitute for funding infrastructure and grassroots creative production outside London.
"We will have to wait and see the detail of the funding mechanisms being proposed. But outsourcing the responsibility to local authorities or to private funders is unlikely to be the answer.
"Local government has faced severe cuts across the board, and this is actually a much bigger problem for the arts outside London than reductions in central government funding. The situation is comparable to health, where cuts in social care at local level cannot be separated from central government funding for the NHS.
"Philanthropy and sponsorship again tend to concentrate on flagship organisations and London - so again, any move in that direction is not likely to address the problem. We also seem to be going round in circles with tax breaks - Osborne withdrew them, now we might be bringing them back. Tax breaks are controversial - remember what happened with Apple in Ireland? I'm sure that the film industry in particular would like to see this come back in, but again, this seems to be papering over the problem. And certainly won't make much difference to London-centrism."
Chris Bilton , Reader, School of Theatre Studies
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